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the instruments of some tyrannical faction Cit. The Whigs of the Union, after whose design was to overthrow the gov- a great triumph over their adversaries ernment, and break up the Union.* With in Congress—à triumph, sir, of princiwhat a revulsion of feeling would he learn ple, in which the majority of the nation the fact, that this assemblage came to heartily sympathized with them—believed gether only to defeat their own party, that if they could select a proper candifrom which they differed in not a single date, they might possibly elect him to the article of faith or practice. Unable to be presidency, and by that means secure a lieve at once in so much folly, he would Whig ascendency in the national council address himself, perhaps, at the close of They met accordingly at Philadelphia, by the meeting, to some one of the assem- delegates from all the States, and problage, whose face and conduct showed in- ceeded to ascertain who, of all the canditelligence, with the question, “Sir, I am a dates, was the people's choice; that is to stranger in your country, but eager to un- say, who of them would have the majority derstand your institutions ; will you inform of voices. For, it was agreed, by the me of the purpose of this vast and enthu- party, that whoever received the majority siastic assemblage ?
of votes in a fair convention, should be Citizen. These citizens are the friends of come the candidate of the whole party. Mr. Clay. They have assembled here to The majority voted for General Taylor night to do him honor.
Their choice lay between four candidates Stranger. How? By acclamation ? two of whom were military men and two
Cit. Yes, and by other means. They statesmen. Of the two statesmen—wb mean to defeat the election of General Tay- were, indeed, the recognized leaders and lor, the opposing candidate.
representatives of the party-one, Mr. Sır. Ah! I understand. The famous Webster, though a man of vast ability general, whom all the world knows, is the could not be taken as a national candidate, candidate of the opposite party, Mr. Clay because it was very certain that his porsof the Whigs.
nation would not be popular in the South Cit. No, sir, (courteously.) General Tay. And it was necessary to the success of the lor is the candidate of the Whigs.
party that the candidate should have Str. And were there no other candi- a nearly equal and diffused popularin dates of the Whigs ?
throughout the nation—that he shoui Cit. There were two others—Mr. Web- have political friends, strong in nun ster of Massachusetts, and General Scott, bers and in spirit, in every State of total the favorite of the West.
Union. Now, Mr. Webster's popularin Str. I suppose, then, that the friends though sufficient to carry every Whig of Mr. Webster will hold a great meeting New England, was not as powerful in Massachusetts, and the friends of Gene- the South. If you are acquainted si: ral Scott in the West, for the same pur- modern history, the reasons of this Des pose, to honor their own candidate and not be explained to you. The South defeat General Taylor ?
not, perhaps, thoroughly understand the Cil. By no means; that would be ridi- own interests ; else Mr. Webster would culous.
as popular there as in New Englass Str. Why then is it not ridiculous in Southerners regard him as the represero the friends of Mr. Clay ? Does he oc- tive of the East; which, indeed, he is to cupy a position so peculiar, that what is by-and-by they will know that he is s's proper for his friends is ridiculous for the representative of the nation. These those of Mr. Webster or General Scott ? however, is a difficulty which time only
Cil. The case needs explanation. You cure. Mr. Webster, in brief, could 21 have heard, perhaps, of the Philadelphia taken as the sure candidate. Convention ?
The next candidate in promise Str. No.
General Scott. You have heard of
splendid achievements in Mexico ? 49 * A faction pursues an interest which is not Well
, this commander is held by supposed to be the interest of the whole. A party
who know him to possess all
! pursues the interest of the nation, as they view it. qualities of a great soldier and
tleman, and he adds, moreover, an ac- the Whig side, and for the support of Whig complished skill in the management of principles, and yet such is their affection difficult negotiations, that require cour- for Mr. Clay, they would sooner ruin their age and magnanimity, tempered by judg. party, (which they are now striving to do,) ment and tact. General Scott is the and even with that, ruin the vast interests favorite of the army :
returned of commerce and manufactures, nay, ruin officers constantly echo his praises. His themselves even and their private fortunes, popularity was very great, and his friends than not vote for Mr. Clay. This was supposed that he was the best candidate. the object of the present meeting. These But it did not prove so. Out of all the citizens, who are among the best Whigs in votes given at the Convention, he received the Union, were assembled here to defeat about a fourth. The body of these votes themselves, for the love they bear to Mr. were from the West.
The choice lay Clay. You may judge from that circumnow between Mr. Clay and General stance, what must be the power
perTaylor-between the commander and the sonal influence of the man. He is the statesman. Both of these had pass- minority candidate of the party. It is ed their lives in the service of their necessary for the success of the party that country: one in the field, defending the minority candidate should be given our frontiers against the incursions of up, and that all votes should be united on the Indian tribes, and latterly, in carrying the other candidate ; but sooner than do on a war of fearful danger, and against this, the friends of Mr. Clay have resolved the greatest odds, in Mexico; the other to throw their votes into the sea. in a battle of opinion, equally arduous and Sir. Sir, you astonish me. But is it important-sustaining the cause of liberty not supposed that Mr. Clay has himself inand nationality, as it was sustained by stigated this movement? Jefferson and Madison, those grand patrons Cit. That is impossible. He has refused and founders of our institutions. In the the use of his name to any faction. The Messages of President Jefferson you will honor of the party is his own honor. find expressed, in great part, that protect- Str. Why should he do that? If he ive and beneficent policy of which Mr. thinks himself entitled to the Presidency Clay is the distinguished advocate. as the reward of his long serviceEach of these great men represents a
Cit. You mistake. Men are not callphase of the heroic character; their qualed to the Presidency in the acceptance ties are heroic, and yet contrasted. Each of a reward, but in the performance of a is admirable, but they affect us differently duty: Mr. Clay has no such contemptible wccording to our predispositions.
opinion of his country's offices as to claim The generous pride and lofty pre-eminence them as one would a salary. As they are of Mr. Clay's character ; his aristocratic honors, they must be freely given, but not bearing, his haughty eye, and his irresist- demanded : as they are duties, they must ble grace, both of manners and of speech, be entered upon with anxiety and relucthow him one of nature's noblemen, a man ance, not seized as a perquisite. orn to lead and to command. His instinct None know better the true spirit in which of character, which is perfect and instan- to regard these things, than the minority aneous, places him at once in a relation candidate ; he has said “that he would of friendship or enmity with those who rather be right than be President,” meaning, ome into personal contact with him. His perhaps, that as the most desirable of all nemies are constant and sincere: his friends things, in point of credit, is to be right, re enthusiastic and devoted ; their atten- the next is, to have one's merit recognized ion is drawn toward him with such inten- by some great testimony, as by an apity, because of his wonderful qualities, pointment to the Presidency. hey soon forget everything in the man, Str. It strikes me now that his friends' nd too easily lose sight in him of the opinion of him was not commensurate with rinciples and interests which he advo- his greatness, or their honor, that they ates. The crowd of citizens whom you saw should make a movement by which he was ssembled in this room just now, are most invited to defeat his own party. art ardent politicians, strongly engaged on Cit. Ah! sir, he is too good a patriot
Let it pass.
for that, and too great a mind to give in disgracing themselves and their venerated to any littleness.
Mr. Clay's honor, as leader, by making him the puppet of a one of the candidates of the Convention, faction ! would have been sorely compromised Cit. Never concern yourself. He is nog should he have yielded an instant to bound to be keeping a hospital for insane their suggestions. When the name of politicians.
The shame General Taylor was offered at the Con- of it is enough, and will last long enough vention, the principal objection raised But we may learn some good lessons from against it, and which, while it remained, the folly, and so at least give it value as was insuperable, was that he did not freely a part of history. Conventions are but commit himself into the hands of the Con- just beginning to be understood. They vention ; but it was thought, that if re- are an essential part of our system. We jected by them, 'he would allow himself to cannot dispense with them. But we must be made an independent candidate, and by learn to organize them properly, to conthat course divide the party, and defeat the duct them fairly, and finally to acquiesce election. This objection, urged with great in their decisions. To violate the faith vehemence by the friends of Mr. Clay and of a Convention should be regarded as a others, was removed by General Taylor's kind of minor treason, and such politicians explicit committal to the Convention ; he as fail of their just and honorable adwould be theirs wholly, to do with as they herence should suffer a political death; pleased. Of course, if one of the candi- should be read out of our books, or be dates for nomination was thus bound, all set down as mercenaries. Why, if the were bound ; but our discontented enthu- party is established for the country's good, siasts here, seem to have forgotten that is it not contrary to manhood and to point, if indeed they ever took it into con- virtue, to divide, corrupt, or deceive it! sideration. Should it be agreed by one A great deal is urged by these discontents half the Whig party, to set up Mr. Clay, about principles—about adhering to our he would not allow himself to be made principles. We had better never be :D their candidate; neither would Mr. Web-power, say these astute moralists, the ster, nor General Scott. All votes given sacrifice a single principle. Very good. for these gentlemen are thrown into the very heroical, is that saying. But unless sea, and go so far to elect the adversary. we at some time acquire power to carry
Sır. Do you mean the “adversary of out our principles, they are almost a desa souls ?”
letter. I know, indeed, that a vigoris Cit. No, sir ; the adversary of peace. minority, with right on their side, a To continue. General Taylor will draw bring the country to their mind, and we after him a number of democratic votes. public opinion to aid them, may effects. Democratic committees have offered him, obstruct and even change the policy of unconditionally, the votes of their cau- corrupt administration ; but in doing its cuses, and he has very properly accept- they have not done all. If the Whigs ed them. The vote of a Democrat is as never to be in office, they will by-and-t. good, or better, to elect a Whig Pre- cease to exist as a party. sident than the vote of a Whig. And this, Nor are they to insist with a childish pe? too, was known to the Convention, and it tinacity that their candidate shall give is had great weight in procuring the nomi- all and every point of policy that was nation of the General ; for when a man is entertained by a Whig. If their candicis popular with both parties, and is a firm is sound at heart, and on difficult qa: adherent of one, other things being as tions defers to the opinion of the major: they should be, he is the candidate, the what more can they ask of him Το Ε: expediency candidate, as the new phrase more were the height of folly—it were e" has it. You cannot choose but take such an indecency, and a kind of temptis: a one; to do otherwise were a proof of Providence,who will surely visit such as more enthusiasm than discretion.
ing electors with a DEMAGOGCE. WE. Str. I cannot leave meditating the indis. Whig will deny the name of Whig to is cretion of those mistaken citizens! That elector because he does not think ads they should have deliberately gone about prohibitory duties, or of a national bai
On these questions men exercise a latitude / must know that we have a peculiar and of opinion ; but if any man advocates a very numerous class of citizens in this conquest policy, or acquiesces in the unre- country, who go by the name of officestrained use of the veto, or holds the doc- seekers. These unfortunate persons are trine of laisser faire, let alone, denying visited for their sins with a peculiar long government all power to protect or extend ing—the longing for office, if it be the trade, or to engage in works of national | most miserable starveling function in the benefit, for the aid of commerce, agricul-world,-still, if it be an office under govture, or manufactures,-why, then, we ernment, they long. A more singular and deny that he is a Whig—he is a Democrat uncomfortable malady than this is not to of the bigot school, in a mischievous sense be found noted in the books. It can be conservative.
compared with none but that dirt-dispepBut it is proper, perhaps, that I should sia which afflicts the negroes of the West put you on your guard against a very com- Indies, when they long to eat dust and mon error, an error, too, of great magni- earth, and will even sweep the floor in ortude, and of the most injurious effect. It der to devour the sweepings. The office is growing more to be the opinion of our dispepsia sometimes seizes upon men at citizens, that the success of their policy middle age in the full vigor of health, and depends upon the election of such or they will even throw up a good business, such a person to the Presidency. Under sell a farm, pawn their mortgages, and democratic rule, the President exercises hypothecate their stocks, to scrape money a twofold legislative power. Under Whig to spend in the hotels of Washington, sorule he is not supposed to exercise any liciting the miserable boon of a clerk's such power. An ultra-democratic Presi- place, with a salary of six hundred a year. dent regards the veto-power as
Such instances are not rare. Sir, I am ditionally his, to be used at bis good afraid you will not believe me when I tell pleasure, for his own or for his party's you, that for every one of the hundred benefit. He assumes a truly legislative thousand persons in the pay of governposition. Moreover, he thinks it politic to ment, there are probably five or six who ise as much personal influence, by giving are sick of this odious malady. Thus md withholding of patronage, by the pro- you have at least half a million of men, nise of aid, and by pledging himself to and an innumerable multitude of their uch or such a line of policy; and still sympathizing friends, reduced to a connore, by a means not rightly understood as dition of moral atrophy, their free-wills ret by the people, the power of destroying extinguished in that of their monsterhe political character of any weak mem- tyrant the government. Now, on the ver of Congress, or any aspirant to office, eve of a democratic election, this vast y corresponding with his constituents, or body is converted for the most part hrough newspapers in the employment of into an electioneering army: they per he party—a vast and potent means of in- suade and draw over the neutrals, and luence : I say he thinks it politic to em- so turn the scale. As a remark, by-theloy all these means to control elections, by, let me suggest, then, if the Whigs, who nd create a ministerial majority in Con- have been long out of power, should gain ress, to carry out any measure of govern the next election by a bare majority, their ient that may seem good to himself and real numbers must be enormous and emis friends. He will demand of his offi-brace two-thirds of the nation at least; ials to be active on the eve of an election, seeing that their adversaries, with the aid
the support of some nameless adven- of this electioneering army, and all other irer, who has wriggled himself into favor means to boot, could not outvote them, t Washington.
But I grow tedious. Str. Stop a moment, if you please ; do Str. O no; your account is painful but ou mean to say that office is obtained in not tedious. is free nation by intrigue, the interven- Cit. Now it is a part of good policy that on of women, bribing, and button-hold- this dreadful endemic of office-seeking,
which not only corrupts our government, Cil. To my sorrow, I do, sir. You but creates the greatest unhappiness and
discontent, should be abated-at least, that Cit. The power which they want is the government itself should cease to be the free unbiassed favor of the nation, the patron and promoter of it for the evil not the interested love of dependants. purposes
of faction. To this end all that The Whigs are fully aware that the weight is necessary, is that our President should, of national feeling and opinion is on their in the first place, make all promotions in side; they wish only for a free expression the army and navy in the regular order of of that opinion. And this we believe will the service, not allowing himself to be af- be allowed them if General Taylor and his fected by private influence, or personal friends come into power. power, and that for the officers of govern
Sır. Sir, I am amazed at the expresment he should choose such men as are sions which you use—" allowed them." known to be valuable and honest; and for Why, sir, are not the people free? local offices, such as those of the Post Office Čit. Not under the so-called “Demoad the Revenue, that he should not bestowcratic rule.” Under that rule the mathem merely as rewards for party service, jority does not govern. For, under that but should, as far as possible, choose such rule, the President is endowed with a men as are acceptable to the people of the legislative as well as executive power. places where they are, and would be He dictates to Congress; he dictates to chosen by them were they to be elected his officials and their friends; he dictates to by vote. And, lastly, he is not to dis- the party; and through all this dictation place a valuable officer merely because he he is the dictator of the nation, and not its voted against the party of the President. constitutional Executive. If the President A busy, noisy demagogue, who neglects and his friends wish to have supplies for a his official duties, and passes his whole war, which they mean to engage in, with time in clubs and caucusses, cannot indeed England, or with Mexico, or any other counexpect to remain in office when there is a try—for the acquisition of remote gold better man and a more useful one to fill mines, or ports of commerce—they can s his place; there are limits beyond which influence Congress, and so influence the endurance will not carry us—but I think elections, and so threaten, terrify, and the principle is by this time quite clear suppress the free opinion of the best
men of their own party, as to obtain Str. Yes; but it seems to me a very such supplies. They can put the maserious defect in your government, that chinery of the press in motion, to manufaethe appointment to valuable local offices ture public opinion over all the continent, should be in the hands of the President. and even in Europe, to carry out their Why not make them elective ?
pernicious schemes. And if all this fails Cit. There are arguments on both and the President and his friends for sides. The Constitution provides that themselves in a minority in Congress. Congress shall have power to make the then steps in the veto power, and by minor offices elective if it pleases, but at holding it in terror over every measur present they are by appointment. Touch- of public benefit or private claim—in ing the question of appointments and re- short, sir, the Executive power, with movals, our candidate has this grand quali- army, navy, offices, newspapers, party, fication, that having no party obligations, Congress, and the purse at command, saz nor private enmities, he will allow good do just what it likes. You see, then, ez officers to retain their places, and only ex. only hope is TO ELECT AN HONEST MAX. pel such as are notoriously intriguing, in- It is power, sir, that we want, not the capable or corrupt; and there is good power to govern and meddle, but the reason to believe that he will always pre- power to let alone and forbear. We be fer such men as are acceptable to the peo- gin to think well of that favorite mase ple, ard such as will not tamper with of our Democratic friends, that "itze public opinion, or labor to corrupt the world”—this country at least—"is poselections.
erned too much." True, indeed, w! Str. But if it is power that the Whigs with our botched up tariffs, ruining be want, why should they not use every manufacturing interest, and turning by means to increase their power ?
that means, the balance of trade agents